Terry Knickerbocker

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Studio Director, Meisner Technique Teacher

For the past thirty years in New York City, Terry Knickerbocker has acted, directed, coached, and produced art with some incredible people.

Cultivate originality. You cannot be an imitation. All you can be is yourself.

Terry is a graduate of The Experimental Theatre Wing in the Drama Dept. at New York University. After graduating from NYU, Terry trained as an actor and a teacher with William Esper. He taught at The William Esper Studio for 25 years, and continues as part of the core faculty at the Experimental Theatre Wing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has also taught directing at Playwrights Horizons Theatre School and Yale University. Other essential teacher/mentors include Maggie Flanigan, Rina Yerushalmi, Steve Wangh, Terry Hayden, Nikos Psacharopoulos, Jackie Brookes, Mary Overlie, Ryszard Cieslak, Jerzy Grotowski, Pierre Lefèvre, Moshe Feldenkrais, Dr. Louis Ormont, and Dr. Harry Fogarty.

He has coached actors on over 300 films, television and theater projects, both on and off-Broadway and regionally. He also consulted with playwrights and screenwriters on their scripts. Some of the actors he has worked with and trained include Sam Rockwell, Chris Messina, Boyd Holbrook, Natasha Lyonne, Leslie Bibb, Emmy Rossum, Yul Vasquez, Jordana Spiro, Gillian Alexy, Gretchen Mol and many others.

A past recipient of the Drama League of New York’s directing award/fellowship for emerging directors, Terry is also a former member of Circle Rep’s LAB. His directing credits include many new works as well as contemporary and classical plays such as Measure for Measure, Tartuffe, The Normal Heart, Candida, All My Sons, and David Rabe’s In the Boom Boom Room.

What Our Alumni Say

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"Terry's laser focus and intuitive ability to find the truth in everyone's work is incredibly rare...." Terry extends his commitment to excellence to every corner of the studio from the design of the studio itself to the incredible faculty he surrounds himself with. -...

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"He is sure-handed and secure enough in his own way to be flexible to the needs of the actor in front of him...." Terry Knickerbocker is excellent, and stands for excellence. He is a deeply knowledgable communicator of his own tradition, and has a palpable curiosity...

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"Terry treated me (as he treats all of his students) like a serious person and a serious actor...." I have been working with Terry for over a year now, after taking a break from acting for quite some time to have kids. It was terrifying getting back on the horse - I...

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"I can’t imagine studying with anyone else...." I’ve been studying with Terry for nine years, which is how long I’ve lived in New York. I can’t imagine studying with anyone else. His attention and patience doesn’t just resonate with me as an actor, but continues...

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"Do not miss out on an opportunity to study here. It will change your life...." When you study at Terry Knickerbocker Studio - growth is inevitable. Training with Terry is the best decision I have ever made for my art, my career, and my life. I leave every class...

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"It keeps me fresh, adaptable, and curious about this crazy thing called life." This work is teaching me what it means to "behave truthfully", which is hard in a world that thrusts so many social norms and conditioning upon you. It becomes harder in a time like this...

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"....That, to me, is the mark of a truly great teacher. One who actually wants you to not need them anymore." Terry always knows which parts of you to encourage: -when to push or when to back off. -when to let you fall flat on your face and when to hold your hand....

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"....he has given me an artistic vocabulary from which to craft wherever I go...." Working with Terry has been invaluable to me as an artist. His special gift for seeing actors’ true selves, often before they do, alongside his standard of excellence, precision,...

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"My experience training with Terry has been a wake-up call of the heart...." I highly recommend this teacher, this studio and this path if you aspire to be a true artist. My experience training with Terry has been a wake-up call of the heart. Terry encourages you to...

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"....working with him and getting to know him has been one of the greatest joys of my life...." Terry has been the most important teacher for my acting life. His ability to be exactly what you need, whether it’s a drill sergeant, a compassionate guru, a goofy friend...

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"The whole Studio has an aura of growth." The whole studio has an aura of growth. The plants, the kindness of everyone you meet, the work ethic of the students, and of course, Terry… they all suggest a place where growth and learning will happen. I was so blown away...

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"....he immediately honed in on me and innately understood something about me as a person...." One of the things that most struck me about Terry when I first started studying with him was how he immediately honed in on me and innately understood something about me as...